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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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Us 20, Romney 16, Mr. Romney 14, Obama 7, John Sununu 7, Dana 7, Wisconsin 5, United States 4, Mitt Romney 4, Jim Lehrer 4, Karen 4, Maria Teresa 3, Jerry 3, Medicare 3, Mr. Sununu 3, Mike Viqueira 2, Andrea Mitchell 2, Paul Ryan 2, Peterson 2, Duracell 2,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    October 4, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

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tykecle." >> good afternoon, it's thursday, october the 4th. and ladies and gentlemen, mitt romney has just the car for you. mitt the mendacious tells america a lemon. >> there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. i'll underline that, no tax cut that adds to the deficit. >> really? okay. what kind of mileage does it get? >> number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. >> huh? okay. do the brakes work? >> i'm sorry, jim, i'm going to stop this subsidy to pbs. i'm going to stop other things. i like pbs. i love big bird. >> let's not. let's let him respond. >> i get the last word. let me make this comment. >> nope. come on, mr. president, give us a peek under the hood. >> five week before the election he's saying that his big, bold idea is never mind. is the reason that governor romney is keeping all these
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plans to replace secret because they're too good? is it because that somehow middle class a families are going to benefit too much? ♪ i guess you're just what i needed ♪ we begin with the president criticized as being less than effective last night by hyperventilating pundits across the board, but now getting his own chance to put a spin on the first presidential debate. fresh off last night's face-off, the president is hitting the trail in key swing states. he's just touched down in madison, wisconsin, for a rally within the hour. and earlier this afternoon the president described his own complete and utter surprise at the man he met last night. >> when i got onto the stage, i met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be mitt romney.
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>> yes, followers of this broadcast will be very familiar with the many variations on the man known as willard mitt. last night it was the centrist version who greeted the president on the stage at the university of denver. >> it couldn't have been mitt romney because the real mitt romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. the fellow on stage last night said he didn't know anything about that. the real mitt romney said, we don't need any more teachers in our classrooms. the fellow on stage last night, he loves teachers. can't get enough of them. >> but this morning mr. romney woke and shook the etch-a-sketch once more venturing out to soak in conservative praise making a surprise visit to colorado's sea-pac conference. romney was greeted with a standing occasion and seized the oprtunity to repeat one of his
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favorite zingers ad nauseam. >> trickle down government. trickle down government. trickle down government. trickle down government will not create the jobs americans need. >> trickle down government, zing. the crowd there clearly energized by romney's debate performance last night and obama's senior adviser david axelrod praised it as well suggesting it was oscar-worthy, though not worthy of the white house. due to some basic problems with simple veracity. >> i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. i can't understand how you can cut medicare $716 billion for current recipients of medicare. pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. an unelected board, appointed board who are going to decide what kind of treatments you ought to have. >> not true, not true, not true, not true. and since mr. romney got the last word at the debate last night, why don't we give the last word today to the
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president. >> he knows full well that we don't want what he's been selling for the last year. so governor romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the american people the truth. >> well said, mr. president. let's get right to our panel. in washington form eer communications director and msnbc political analyst karen finney, and in philadelphia professor james peterson of lehigh university and a regular contributor to thegrio.com. good afternoon to both of you. karen, what did you make of the president's recognition today that his rival is leading the double life of willard "mitt" romney, there are two people traveling around the country. >> well, there might even be three or four because a couple times i thought i heard all new versions of the fact that is we've heard in various versions of mitt romney. look, mitt romney, i got to say honestly, did he what he needed
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to do last night. i thought the president was fine. i'm sure he'll do much better coming up, and, of course, today was important for him. i think one of the most important things that needs to be reiterated coming out of last night is how often mitt romney just plain lied. for the president, you know, he had to balance between how much of his time was he going to take correcting that and how much of his time was he going to take trying to talk about his own ideas. >> karen, do you accept that the president was perhaps a little flat last night? >> you know what? i do, but i'll tell you something interesting. i actually listened to it after watching it. i was listening to it in the car and it was a lot better if you listen to it, i can tell that you, if that makes you feel better. yeah, that was not the barack obama that i think any of us were expecting to see, and i will tell you i think that part of what made people so frustrated was that there were so many times where you just wanted him to punch you in the nose because the lies were so tremendous, and he didn't quite -- that was stylistically not what he was there to do and not what he clearly wanted to
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do. like i say, he was fine. i think mitt romney had a lot more to prove. he did what he needed to do. i'll be very cure yus to see how they both do. i think the president will he can sell in the town format where you have to talk to real people face-to-face. >> the president did go after romney's falsehoods and pivots and distortions today. >> on the complain trail. >> correct. >> but would you say there was a deliberate strategy last night as to why he chose not to do so? let's be frank, professor peterson, we would still be watching that debate if the president called every single lie that romney cage out with last night. we'd be going on. this would be 24 hours of it. >> that's true, and, you know, messina and axelrod and plouffe and valerie varijarrett, these all extremely smart people when it comes to political strategy. i think it's hard for me to conclude anything other than it
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was some sort of strategy. they chose a certain strategic path and we can critique whether or not the strategy worked, but obviously they wanted to be above the fray. he wanted to exercise restraint, ser va his opponent, and what he really wanted honestly, the campaign, they wanted to have all of this fodder today. look at the news cycle today. look at what we're talking about today and essentially we're talking about obama's plan. we're talking about his campaign messaging, and we're talking about all the ways in which mitt romney has been lying. that's pretty much across the board. so score one for the campaign if they lost some cool points in terms of obama's persona in the debate itself. >> karen, there's been this hand wringing by some democrats over this perceived low performance by the president, but was it really such a fiasco? mitt romney is the ron jeremy of political campaigning. every day he's in a different position. how do you nail custard to the creeling? how do you do that? i don't know how you do that. >> exactly, yeah.
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>> look, can i just remind you that al gore won the debates. did he end up being president? no, he did not. >> john kerry. >> john kerry won the debates. he also did not end up being president. >> yeah, but, karen, i think what's different this time around is the absolute falsification that took place last night. it was breath-taking. it was almost -- well, it was shakespearean in terms of its performance. >> and you know what, martin, to that point, i think part of whether where i'd like to see the obama folks take this message is, we have already had a president who is very comfortable, and a vice president by the way, looking us straight in the eye and lying to us and sending men and women to war. do we want to have another president who can stand on the stage for 90 minutes and lie to the american people? i don't think that's what we want. i think that's dangerous for this country. i think they're really going to have to go hard at that. unfortunately, not a lot of people are reading the fact checks, right?
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we all know and a lot of the mi knew sha of the facts and where he was wrong and wasn't wrong, i don't know how much people are picking up on that which is why it's important we're talking about it. i think the thing i'm most comforted by and i think, frankly, the most important thing is it appears the fundamentals of this race have not changed. i did not see any data from dial groups or otherwise that suggested that he won over any new voters. certainly not african-americans, latino, and certainly not women. >> professor pete ishson, i want to follow this up now, i'd like to get both of your opinions on this. a good debate by mr. romney no doubt has been followed by a performance by governor john sununu where he felt he had to smear the president with some despicable words this afternoon when he was interviewed by my colleague andrea mitchell. just listen to this. >> what people saw last night i think was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is. >> governor, i want to give you a chance to maybe take it back.
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did you really mean to call barack obama, the president of the united states, lazy? >> yes. i think you saw him admit it the night before when he delivered the pizzas. he said, you know, they're making me do this work. he didn't want to prepare for this debate. he's lazy and disengaged. >> now, professor peterson, we have to be absolutely clear and truthful, john sununu is an adviser to mitt romney. >> yes, he is. >> aside from the fact he appears to be an over perspiring hyperventilating mass of bitterness, the president is now nothing more than a lazy feckless pizza poi, boy, is tha right? >> hopefully romney will distance himself from these comments. let's look at what's going on in the world, delicate operation in libya, all kinds of unrest in europe around the economy. there's a lot of issues for the economy of the president to have on his mind. he can't just campaign and debate prep. he's the president of the united states.
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he has to weigh things on his mind. who knows what's on his mind at that particular point in time. i don't want to make excuses for him but to suggest he's lazy. president obama does more before 6:00 a.m. than john sununu will do in a month. he's the president of the united states and he has a lot of work to do -- >> professor, i think most people would agree that the president does more in his sleep than john sununu. karen finney, what was underneath this, referring to the president as lazy and a pizza boy? >> well, this is what we have seen time and again from the conservatives in terms of the lack of respect for this president. they have really demeaned the office of the presidency. you had a prominent conservative writer earlier this week essentially say the only reason, the only excuse possible as to why barack obama could be ahead in the polls is because he's black. i mean, this -- you also had john sununu several months ago say he doesn't understand what it is to be an american, which
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he tried to backtrack on that again. again andrea mitchell tried to give him a chance to save himself. time and again we have heard these kinds of attacks that, you know what? john sununu should just keep saying it. every time they say it, a further galvanizes our side. if that's what you really think of the president, go ahead and keep saying it because it only helps us. >> karen, finney, professor james piterson, thank you for joining us. next. was mr. romney's performance last night really what women want? stay with us. >> but the right answer is not to have the federal government take over health care and start mandating to the providers across america telling a patient and a doctor what kind of treatment they can have. >> jerry, just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it.
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absent from last night's debate were any issues that related particularly to just over half the voting population. that's women. and mr. romney probably thought better than to mention republicans defunding planned parenthood or mandating transvageal ultrasound probes. yet, if you listened closely, women were mentioned at every turn. >> i was in dayton, ohio, and a woman grabbed my arp and she said, i have been out of work since may. can you help me? yesterday was a rally in denver, and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms. a woman came to me and she said, look, i can't afford insurance for myself or my son. >> joining us here in new york is my colleague crist yal ball, one of the mosts of "the cycle" and joy reid, managing eder to of thegrio.com.
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welcome to you both. krystal, both candidates mentioned women but mitt romney suddenly seems to have discovered women. is that the mitt romney you recall? >> in some ways it is because it's like he can just say, i met a woman or i have a wife, and that's going to make things okay for women, that they're going to now trust him and his policies to be there for them. in terms of actually having a set of policies that make sense for women, we didn't hear anything from that last night from mitt romney on that or president obama because it just wasn't brought up at all. so i think it is in line with his whole campaign strategy of just asserting that he is a certain way and the voting population should just trust him on that. >> joy, i hate to reference other people's broadcasts because obviously ours is the most important in the universe but -- >> other than "the cycle." >> but you have actually made the point that romney's performance was particularly designed for men, and in many
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ways i have read some things where people have been saying it was like a ceo conversing with a group of staff to wind them up. is that how you felt about it? >> that's what it sounded like. it sounded like an unpleasant board meeting at which jim lehrer was being set aside and fired summarily in front of the rest of the board. it sounded extremely harsh to my ear, and i did acknowledge that maybe because i am listening from a female point of view, i thought when he was interrupting, goading, really bullying jim lehrer, you know, as bad a moderator as jim lehrer is being said to be today, i thought mitt romney's attitude toward him was actually a negative thing for him and didn't help him in the big problem he has, which is likability. >> yeah. it felt to me like mitt romney showed up thinking that his goal was to be the alpha male. >> right. >> and that he needed to assert his dominance over everyone there, and certainly jim lehrer bore the brunt, the president as well. i got the sense that for him it was a dominance thing. it was very aggressive, and i agree with joy, i think a lot of
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women, particularly women who were already inclined to vote for the president, which as we know many women are, are going to be further turned off by that tone. >> do you think that he was like that because of the goading that he's had from republicans who feel that he's a bit e feet, that he's not really tough enough, that he hasn't gone out and beaten everybody up? >> i think it's part of that. if you go back and look at the primary debates, mitt romney was largely the same way. he's a vicious debater. he gets in there and his goal is to shred everyone who is on that stage. i think the only change from the primaries is that he took on the newt gingrich role of including the moderator in the beating he was trying to give. >> newt's advice. >> he took newt's advice. i don't think though that his alpha male sort of act necessarily worked on barack obama. i think barack obama is being criticized for not looking at romney when he was talking, for looking down, looking away, but i do think that barack obama's affect similarly was designed to appeal to a constituency. we were talking about this on the break. his affect probably was more appealing to a female voter. it's a subtle thing but i think it's important. >> another thing that was mentioned by mitt romney was
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education. but his true feelings weren't really that clear. they tended to come out during the campaign. watch this. >> and the key to great schools, great teachers. so i reject the idea that i don't believe in great teachers or more teachers. >> he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. did he not get the message of wisconsin, the american people did. it's time for us to cut back on government and help the american people. >> see, he's lying, isn't he? he was lying last night because for months he's been telling us, quoting mckenzie studies which a apparently suggest class size is irrelevant, and there he is saying what are you talking about, mr. president. >> and supporting the ryan plan which slashes money for teachers. >> but last night he loves teachers. >> last night he loves teachers and last night he made the most dramatic and decisive move to
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the center. >> why do you call it a move to the center? it was a move to lie. >> it's a move that's completely dishonest from where he has been in the rest of the campaign, but i think what they realized is he can't run on those positions and win. he can't be the far right guy who hates teachers and firefighters and expect to win an election in this country and republicans staring down the possibility of a loss sort of gave him permission to lie about his position, move to the center, and try to convince people that this is where he's been all the time. >> amazing. >> and he also says he likes cole. let's take it with a grain of salt. >> and big bird, but too bad. >> two intelligent women we're delighted to have on our broadcast. stay with us. much more ahead. >> i don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. there's no economist can say mitt romney's tax plan adds $5 trillion. >> jerry, just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it.
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♪ ooh, baby, can i do for you today? ♪ try align today. no rest for the president today. he was back out on the campaign trail in denver picking up on some of the things that his opponent said during last night's debate. >> so you see, the man on stage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for the real mitt romney's decisions and what he's been saying for the last year. >> nbc's mike viqueira joins us live from the white house. mike, the president is now, i believe, in paul ryan's backyard, madison, wisconsin. there's an image there live. he's scheduled to speak i think within the hour. he's got two weeks until the next debate. do we expect him, do you think, to take the gloves off between now and then? >> reporter: it's a great question, martin, and i think it's conventional wisdom without the day has increasingly con he jeled around this idea that mitt
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romney was victorious regardless of the methods. you have seen a lot of obama aides and surrogates up the rhetoric in their comments to reporters and elsewhere. we heard david axelrod calling mitt romney and his performance as a serial evader and an artful dodger by way of explaining why president obama didn't go after him more aggressively. we heard david plouffe just a few minutes ago from aboard air force one piped in here to the press room calling mitt romney dishonest, saying he lied about his tax policy. >> but, mike, the president himself earlier today said, didn't he, that he was debating a man who appeared to have multiple positions, as it were, multiple personality in a sense. it wasn't just surrogates. >> reporter: you didn't hear the president call him a liar. we saw joe biden openly mocking him just a few minutes ago in a speech in iowa. was mocking mitt romney saying that there was a whole bit about how mitt romney has suddenly discovered the middle class and
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that patented demonstrative way that joe biden can do it. plouffe also called mitt romney -- his performance thee at tricklely aggressive. they're using a euphemism about the next go-around saying the president will certainly be making some adjustments. those are going to have to include to satisfy a lot of people, including some of his core supporters, a much more aggressive stance and hitting back against mitt romney in some of the claims he made last night. >> nbc's mike viqueira, robust as ever. thank you, mike. >> reporter: thank you. >> stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. ♪ [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex.
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for on every one of ourou won't justcarda reminder...ate.. that before this date, we have to exceed expectations. we have to find new ways to help make life easier, more convenient and more rewarding. it's the reason why we don't have costumers. we have members. american express. welcome in. i laughed, i cried, it was better than cats. here are today's "top lines." the irony of defeat. >> the first presidential debate. >> happy anniversary. >> i'm sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine here with me. >> who knew he had a sense of
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humor. >> i have five boys. i'm used to people saying something that's not always true. >> bobby kennedy said to jack kennedy, i'll kick him in the balls. >> he's been asked over a hundred times how would you close the deductions and loopholes. >> the debate abcs, always be attacking. >> i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. >> never admit that your opponent is right. >> five weeks before the election, big bold idea is never mind. >> never let someone interrupt you. >> i think i get the last word. so -- >> somebody had to say it. the president is only winning because he's black. >> obama care is on my list. i apologize, mr. president. i use that term with all respect. >> drudge con one, blue siren alert. obama race video. >> people say this this has been reported. it hasn't been reported and i know because i reported on it the first time. >> there are some desperate mother [ bleep ]. >> if you're 54 or 55, you might want to listen. >> i have no idea what you're talking about. i maybe need to get a new accountant. >> rv romney has not displayed
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that willingness to say no to some of the more extreme parts of his party. >> your title to an airport and a house but not your own facts. >> he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. >> tonight was a historical night. >> governor romney was in command. >> mitt romney's new song should be how to you luke me now. >> harvard law school versus harvard business school. >> looked like a guy that won the super bowl. >> he looked depressed. he looked anemic. those big ears poking out. he knew that anniversary or not michelle wanted to go home with mitt. >> zing. >> ouch. >> let's get right to our panel now. we're joined by dana mill bank of the "washington post," msnbc contributor, maria teresa kumar, and william cohen, a columnist for the bloomberg view. dana, i have to start with you. in your column today you write that his attacks on the president were respectful but
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defendant deft, referring to mr. romney. he joined obama deep in the weeds of policy and demonstrated a command of substance. now, dana, you know that i have nothing but a high regard for you, but how much of a command of substance is it for a man to disavow his own policies and not even know that there are 12 million unemployed in this nation and not 23 million? >> well, martin, it takes a real command of policy to be able to -- >> to lie? >> to manipulate it to your advantage. >> you're saying that his command of policies, just so i understand it, dana, because your columns are important, his command of policy allowed him to tell an absolute litany of lies last night? >> you know what? you know what allowed him to tell an absolute litany of lies? that was president obama. of course he said a lot of outrageous and untrue things. in the second paragraph of my column i said this line where he went after obama and said, you know, when i'm not telling -- when my boys aren't telling the truth to me, what obama was
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saying was accurate. in this case i think it's less -- i mean, it certainly is the right thing to point out that he was saying things that were not true. i don't understand why that's being left to the fact checkers, to you, to me, to others. why wasn't president obama out there getting in his face right then and there and saying it? that's why he was allowing this. he was just sort of taking the beating. of course he's going to get out there and say things that are false. why was he being allowed to say that? >> marina teresa, do you think there was a strategy behind the president's reluctance to be too assertive with mitt romney? as dana is suggesting? >> i think it's part of an overall strategy. he doesn't want to come in and t down in the weeds just yet and start punching this candidate who president obama doesn't think is actually fit to be president. i think he was actually going in taking it slowly, listening to what were the line of attacks, making sure that he understood. i think that the president is very much a lawyer. he's waiting for the closing argument. i did find it interesting -- >> maria teresa, isn't it the
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case that the president did leave quite a lot of ammunition, as it were, on the shelf. the 47% was never once mentioned. >> right. >> paul ryan's 30%. >> i think it was on purpose. and i think the reason -- i believe it's on purpose is because if he immediately started talking about the 47%, he immediately started talking about immigration, he immediately started talking about women's issues, the independent voter all of a sudden says, you know what? obama is a little too progressive for me. i'm not ready for that. obama has -- president obama has always been a very pragmatic leader, very pragmatic when it comes to debating, and very pragmatic when it comes to his campaign. he used this opportunity to open it up so he can actually at the end of the day sway the independent voter but by going out of the gate -- going after his base immediately, that doesn't help him to move the needle for the independent voters he needs. >> bill, lath night mr. romney described the dodd frank reform law as the biggest kiss to new york banks i have ever seen.
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you have worked with some of those banks. so was it? or is that the biggest lie mr. romney told last night? >> as george kos stanza says, it's not a lie if you believe it. it's one of the most cynical comments we heard last night because i don't think i have ever heard mitt romney actually defend regulation. he actually said i'm going to scrap dodd/frank and put in place new regulations, presumably tougher regulations. if this is a kiss, he wants tougher regulations. let's stipulate for a moment that most of wall street is already in mitt romney's pocket, already going to vote for him, that's what i hear. i don't know many people on wall street who aren't already supporters of him. now he throws that hail mary pass at the last minute and says now i'm going to be critical of dodd/frank and critical of the regulation and ask for more regulation and also was going to cut everybody's taxes 20%. now i'm saying, no, no, no we're not doing that anymore. we're going to raise people's taxes. he's got his base, which is so
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so-called wall street base in his pocket and then he turns on them last night. it's incredible cynical. >> dana, there was some of our media colleagues last night who showed they're still capable of independent thought. take a listen, sir. >> i sense the president had never been talked to like this over the last four years and i think to go to a point ben jones made earlier this evening, and that is i think he was so surprised he thought romney was sort of flat out lying. that he never proposed a 20% tax cut. >> dana, how is it possible, please explain this, how is it possible to debate somebody who doesn't tell you the truth in the debate? >> well, martin, it's a difficult task, but i think you have to go into these things assuming that he's not going to be telling you the truth and be prepared to point that out at each step along the way. >> but, dana, you're talking about an individual who is running for the highest office in the land, and if i understood what you just said accurately, you're suggesting we should assume that a presidential
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candidate is a flat-out liar. >> well, i don't know. i have watched about 20 of the republican primary debates. i don't see how you could assume anything but that based on what we have seen all along. you know, the whole assumption going in there is i'll say it was mark twain who said a lie can be half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. the whole idea is you can say whatever you want, then the fact checkers will get involved and then you can say, well, the fact checkers are partisan. the whole idea is to be understood that mitt romney is going to get up there and distort things to whatever suits his position. it's a difficult task to get to nail jell-o to the wall that way, but you have to go after him and say, hey, this isn't what you're saying on webs is not what you said on tuesday nor is it what you said last thursday. >> maria, the chattering chas consensus was resounding. i wonder if anybody sees mr. romney differently now as a result. take a listen to this.
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>> the governors republicans and democrats said, please, let us do that. we can care for our own poor in so much better and more effective a way than having the federal government tell us how to care for our poor. you're going goat what you got last year plus inflation plus 1%, and then you're going to manage your care for your poor in the way you think best. these are disabled kids or poor kids or lower income kids rather. >> maria teresa, that to me doesn't sound like a new mitt romney. that sounds like the out of touch imperial executive that we've all come to know and love, isn't it? >> well, it's so disingenuous. the fact he actually had to correct himself because he gasp said the word poor in a debate is a bit shocking, right? it goes back to the 47%. the way the president actually did have an opportunity to go back to it and make a case for it, but, again, i think the president came out saying, look, i want to see what his debate style is going to be. i want to have a better understanding of how he can attack and more importantly, i want to make sure i keep an open
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mind among the moderates who i need to win at this election. >> dana mill ban, maria teresa, bill. thank you. a romney surrogate with the most offensive charge against the president yet. stay with us. >> number one, pre-existing conditions are covered unmy plan. number two, young people can stay on their family plan. that's already offered in the private mshth place. >> jerry, just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot? check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic.
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more than 50 times a day? so brighten your smile a healthy way with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only rinse that makes your teeth two shades whiter and two times stronger. ♪ listerine® whitening... power to your mouth. mitt romney's debate performance has fired up the republican base and they're hoping a better performing candidate alongside their nationwide attempt to suppress the democratic vote will propel him to the white house. but not so fast say those concerned to protect voting
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rights. joining us is congressman elijah cummings, democrat of maryland. good afternoon, sir. >> martin, good to be with you. >> i want to ask you about your investigation into voter fraud in a moment, about first, may i have your reaction to something that a top adviser to mitt romney just said only moments ago. please listen. >> what people saw last night, i think, was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is. >> governor, i want to give you a chance to maybe take it back. did you really mean to call barack obama, the president of the united states, lazy? >> yes. i think you saw him admit it the night before when he delivered the pizzas. he said, you know, they're making me do this work. he didn't want to prepare for this debate. he's lazy and disengaged. >> that was top romney adviser john sununu on the president's performance last night. we're actually now looking at a live picture of the president who is on stage in madison,
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wisconsin. he looks fairly full of energy to me. he appears to be hard-working. what would you say, sir, to mr. sununu? >> i would say to mr. sununu he doesn't know what he's talking about. i have worked with the president over the last four years who has given his blood, sweat, and tears to turn this economy around, and i think he's done a very good job of that and he's still got a lot of work to do. and the fact is that this president because of people like mr. sununu in the republican party, republicans have done every single thing in their power to stop this president from accomplishing what he's accomplished. but he's accomplished more, martin, in his three years and eight months than most presidents do in eight years. so i think mr. sununu needs to take those words back, as we say in the congress. i think it's very unfortunate for somebody to be saying that about this president who has done a great job. >> mr. romney said last night he wants to sit down with democrats and work out a solution to health care and so on.
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what ft. you're faced with a president romney. what would you tell him about health care? >> what i would tell him is that health care is probably the most important thing that we have done in this congress because it's saving many people's lives. >> you haven't done much else, sir, have you? >> i would say to him that i don't think that he has a plan to replace it. he's not going to replace, martin, adessing the pre-existing conditions, our young people staying on their policies until they're 26 years old, and helping the people i see in my district who now are able to get health care that weren't able to get health care before. and so, you know, again, i think mr. romney talks about his success, by the way, with regard to the folks in massachusetts, but he's got to remember that he was dealing with a democratic congress -- democratic legislature who wanted to get things done for the people in massachusetts. >> he's claiming it's all credit to him, sir.
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mr. romney keeps telling us that actually he's the genius who works with people on the other side of the aisle and this president is incapable of doing so. >> let me tell you something, i deal with the republicans in congress every day, and they said from the very beginning that they wanted to make him a one-term president, and they have done every single thing they can imagine to stop him, and he's still been successful. so i don't buy that. >> congressman, there's a republican consultant by the name of nathan sproul who has been accused of irregularities with the voter registration drive he was running for the national republican party. now, you have asked mr. sproul to appear before congress. >> yes. >> why have you asked for him to appear? >> because he has ran an operation in florida where it has been shown that they have been -- people have been filling out applications for -- that were fraudulent, wrong
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addresses, people's false names and basically playing with the registration process, and he has a history, by the way, of throwing away registration forms that were prepared for democrats. and by the way, martin, this is a group that was hired by the national committee and hired by the florida committee. and they are -- we know for a fact they are doing these fraudulent things in some five different states. and so we want to get to the bottom of this. why are you doing this? and who is responsible for this, and we want to know why were you paid, mr. sproul, some $3 million by the republican national committee to do these things? >> indeed. very, very important questions, sir, and i hope that mr. sproul answers them. congressman elijah cummings, thank you, sir, for joining us. >> thank you. stay with us. we have much more ahead. i'm with sandra who just got these great glasses.
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it's fair to say that there's some frustration as to why the president speaking now in madison, wisconsin, was not more assertive right now. brad woodhouse is communications director for thed nc and he joins us now. there's been plenty of speculation as to why the president did not challenge every lie that mitt romney told, and i guess to be honest, the debate would still be going on now if he'd done so. but was there a reason for why the president chose not to confront romney given all of the misnomers and falsehoods that romney told? >> look, martin, i mean, first of all, there's been plenty of people have pointed out what a liar mitt romney is and was last night. i mean, if he was talking, he was -- if he was speaking last night, he was lying. and, look, the president was
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trying to have a conversation with the american people, and this is not a president who is prone to come in and throw out a bunch of zingers -- >> but brad, but brad, i get your point about the president addressing the nation, but this was a debate between two men. >> correct. >> let's be frank, the moderator in this debate appeared not to have much of a role. these two men were allowed, as it were, to go at it as you like to put it. so, again, i have to ask you, was the president remiss in not challenging his opponent? >> well, look, i don't think so. look -- >> you really don't? you really don't think so? >> let me say here, martin, anybody that's seen this president over the past five years knows that he's someone that wants to have an adult conversation with people. he's not going to go in and get into a petty back and forth. look, mitt romney had a good night, but, you know, even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and then. one good night is not going to erase a year of mitt romney's
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extreme positions, his lack of arithmetic on his tax plan. i mean, look, look what's happening in madison right now. 30,000 adoring fans are out there. those people are going to go out today and they're going to press the flesh, they're going to get people to vote, they're going to get people to register. mitt romney has nothing like that in any state in country going for him. those people are going to go door to door and they're going to sell this president and he's going to win on election day because he's got the right plans for the country and he's got one hell of an organization on the ground. >> brad woodhouse, you're part of that organization. thank you, sir. >> thank you, martin. >> we'll be right back. >> whoever it was that was on stage last night doesn't want to be held accountable for what the real mitt romney has been saying for the last year. and that's because he knows full well that we don't want what he's been selling over the last year. governor romney may dance aroundies positions. he may do a tap dance and a two
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duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere. it's time now to "clear the air." and it's been difficult coming back to reality after spending 90 minutes in the world of mitt romney, a world where the trees are just the right height but the facts are nowhere to be found. last night was a sue per life tiff shakespearean performance delufered by one of the finest actors i have seen on an american stage. it was mitt romney, the consummate liar, who persuades a fellow that his wife is cheating on him when, in fact, yago is the biggest crook of all. case in point, mr. romney's tax plan. for months he's been telling us that he'll cut everyone's taxes by 20%. so some of the country's brightest economists did the math and found that romney's tax plan promises to cut taxes by $5
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trillion without adding to the deficit. but when mitt romney took to the stage last night, he delivered a line that beggared belief. >> no economist can say mitt romney's tax plan adds $5 trillion if i say i will not add to the deficit with my tax plan. >> so black is white, up is down, and everything is the way he says it is in the world of mitt romney. like yago, mitt romney delivered those lines in the presence of a black man, but on this occasion the president would not be deceived. he allowed mr. romney to rehearse the full extent of his lie and then just a few hours ago drew our attention to what really happened last night. >> the real mitt romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts in favor of the wealthy. the fellow on stage last night said he didn't know anything about that. >> mr. romney is quite rightly basking in the glow of his brilliant performance, a performance of mendacity that

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